Class, Practice and Bad Analogies

by Skye Donaldson
Shield Staff

Usually when I wake up and stare at my ceiling, I see a line where two pieces of drywall were hung a little too far apart so there is a space in between. I look at the line almost every morning I open my eyes. And I look at it until I figure that I have to get up at some point. So far, I have gotten out of bed everyday and I am on a streak.

Eight a.m. classes are not always my cup of tea, especially if we have had a rough women's basketball practice the night before. They are usually not anyone’s cup of tea, now that I think about it. But getting out of bed usually happens slowly, and then really quickly.

Waking Up Routine

I slide out of bed at around 7:35 a.m. It is not late enough to be panicky about being late for class, but it is early enough to look like you are not exactly dead.

I put my contacts in, brush my teeth and then go to the bathroom. After the bathroom I am zipping around the room. My books fly into my backpack, my pajamas come off and sweats and a sweatshirt go on (I live in sweats). I take a little time to compose myself before I walk out the door at 7:55.

Living on campus has its perks, especially for the early classes. I can leave my room at 7:55 and make it to my class before eight o’clock.  The real trick is trying not to freeze on your way to class. Granted, it is a short walk, but I have to reassure myself that I can make it the next 100 steps to the door and the heat.

Always Tired and Always Practice

After that early morning class, it is just a matter of keeping my mind focused on the classes that come after. By my 2 p.m. class, I'm torn between feeling like I want to take a nap and feeling like I want to sleep forever. But the walk back to the dorms spurs that out of me.  

At around 4:30, I make the trek down to the gym. Usually we will have a 5 p.m. practice. Having practice later in the day is sometimes rough because everyone is finished with class and some of us are exhausted.

But the days we have 6 a.m. practice are almost as worse, getting out of bed is almost a form of death on those days. Between the two times, it is almost like choosing your own poison.

Routine of Practice

Either way, you can always count on practice being routine. We will have a few warm-up drills: continuous layups or continuous shooting. These drills get our legs warmed up and it gets the blood pumping before we start working on the meat of our game: our offense and defense.

To work on both, we will split teams into starters and substitutes. From there, we scrimmage while working on certain defenses, presses and offenses. Our scrimmages range in quality depending on how everyone is feeling. If the team turns out to play and get work done, playing up-and-down can get intense and heated. But if some of us are not there mentally, practice can turn into a conditioning workout. Scrimmaging is the highlight of my practice.

Game Day All About the Team

Game days are great and making sure you are ready to play is important. Having class on game day is tricky, it is important to stay mentally engaged in class, so it carries over into the game. Sometimes that is not as simple as it sounds.

Game day is all about competition, intensity and your team. I usually keep in mind the last part; game day is all about the team, all about the win. I have to make sure I do what I have to do to contribute.

Winding Down in the Dorm Room

After things are all said and done, I always end up back in my dorm room. Sometimes I will meet up with my family after a game or grab a bite to eat before I head in. But I always end up back in my room.

Almost every night I have homework and game day does not change that. I will finish some homework and wind down until finally I am lying in bed staring at the line in the ceiling again. 

Reflecting on the Crack

I think the line in my ceiling is almost like everyday in the basketball season. I do not have to play just like I do not have to look at the crack. But basketball and the crack have not failed me yet. And maybe that is a bad analogy, but who cares, I will keep doing it day in and day out until I get bored. And I really, really hope I do not.